Today, predictably, the New York Times criticized Congress for limiting unemployment benefit extensions -- that is, 99 weeks of assistance:
The checks are stopping for the people who have the most difficulty finding work: the long-term unemployed. More than five million people have been out of work for longer than half a year. Federal benefit extensions, which supplemented state funds for payments up to 99 weeks, were intended to tide over the unemployed until the job market improved.
The NYT calls these cuts "premature."
But the article also points out:
...unemployment benefits prolong joblessness and simply transfer wealth from one area of the economy to another without contributing to growth.
Exactly. Government handouts undermine job growth. They reward dependency.